FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2012
More than 700 events nationwide anticipated for
USOC 2012 Olympic Day festivities
U.S. Olympic Committee announces record number of events for this year’s
celebration of Olympic Day
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - In anticipation of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, Americans are embracing the spirit of the Olympic Movement and making plans to host the largest Olympic Day celebration in U.S. history.
The United States Olympic Committee has received information for more than 700 registered Olympic Day events taking place nationwide between June 22 and July 1. The events are designed to engage youth and promote the ideals of the Olympic movement and will feature athlete appearances, family-friendly activities and interactive learning experiences. This year’s participation will almost double the U.S.’s 2011 event total.
USOC CEO, Scott Blackmun said the timing of 2012 Olympic Day is perfect for engaging Americans. “The 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony is just over one month after Olympic Day, making these events a timely way to inspire Americans and educate our youth about healthy living,” Blackmun said. “We are thrilled to host more events than ever before, and look to spread the excitement of the Games, Olympism and athlete stories of inspiration to even more people than in past years.”
Around the world, more than 160 countries take part in the annual celebration. Olympic Day was created by the International Olympic Committee in 1948 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympic Games and celebrate the Olympic ideals and values that galvanize people in the spirit of Olympism. In the U.S., Olympic Day events range from small gatherings to large, city-wide events.
Highlights of Olympic Day include:
- Nationally, Free Race Day - USA BMX, in partnership with USA Cycling, will host a free race day at each of its 351 sanctioned tracks across the country and is expecting nearly 100,000 participants. Events will take place in all 50 states.
- New York City, NY, Learn to Skate with Sarah Hughes, Olympic gold medalist – Sarah Hughes, who helped organize this event says, “I’m looking forward to hosting an Olympic Day event at Chelsea Piers this summer and bringing the worldwide celebration of the Olympic Movement to my local community is especially meaningful. I know the Olympic values – fair play, perseverance, respect and sportsmanship – will resonate with the kids, especially in the sporting environment at Chelsea Piers. Their enthusiasm, coupled with the excitement of the upcoming Games, is surely going to make Olympic Day an inspiring one for all involved.”
- Sandy, UT, Soccer Training Session – U.S. Soccer will host a special training session featuring the 2012 Olympic Women’s Soccer Team on June 30 at the Rio Pinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. The event will provide fans the opportunity to watch and interact with the team before they compete in the London Games.
- Washington, DC, Skate of the Union – Held on Olympic Day, June 23rd , skaters from all over the U.S. convene at historic RFK stadium campus in Washington, DC, to participate in elite and recreational inline racing, clinics, roller skating demos and exhibitions, and skateboarding events. Skate of the Union is also the culmination of the US Olympians’ Walk to London campaign, which began at the LA Coliseum on April 7. Local and national Olympian skaters will join US Olympians Association President, Willie Banks, for an Olympic Day/”Skate to London” ceremony at RFK.
- Milwaukee, WI, YMCA National Gymnastics Championship – Olympic Day will be celebrated among 1,700 youth YMCA gymnasts from more than 20 states. In total, the event expects to have 4,000 people who will hear from 1996 Olympic gymnast Kate Nelson Nack during the opening ceremonies held at the Summerfest grounds on Milwaukee’s lakefront.
- Grand Prairie, TX, Olympic Field Day - The city of Grand Prairie will host an Olympic Field Day with 300 youth from their summer camp. The day will begin with an opening ceremony then the children will compete in various sport activities including swimming, cycling and running. At the end of the day a guest athlete will award all participants with medals and Olympic Day certificates of participation.
- Red Lake, MN, Boys & Girls Club – 2010 Olympic Curler, Natalie Nicholson, a local resident who is helping organize the event states, “As a nurse practitioner, I am always encouraging my patients to be active, make positive lifestyle changes and have a positive outlook as well as set goals and not be afraid to fail. This community encourages me to be a better person and I think being involved with Olympic Day is a great way for me to give back and inspire the people of Red Lake.”
In 2011, 100,000 people participated in 376 events in the 311 cities which hosted Olympic Day celebrations in the United States. Host organizations and cities joined more than 300 Olympians, Paralympians and hopefuls in proclaiming Olympic Day and celebrating Olympism in their communities.
The majority of Olympic day events are hosted by Multi-Sport Organizations (MSOs) and National Governing Bodies (NGBs) who are part of the U.S Olympic Family. To date, the following MSOs and NGBs have registered to participate in 2012 Olympic Day activities:
- Amateur Athletic Union
- Am. Alliance for Health, P.E., Rec. and Dance
- Boy Scouts of America
- Boys & Girls Clubs of America
- Catholic Youth Organization
- Community Olympic Development Programs
- Disabled Sports USA
- Jewish Community Centers
- U.S. National Governing Bodies
- National Recreation and Parks Association
- Olympic Training Centers
- Olympic Training Sites
- Paralympic Sport Clubs
- Police Athletic League
- Special Olympics
- State Games of America
- United States Air Force
- United States Army
- United States Marine Corps
- United States Navy
- USA Dance
- U.S. Association of Blind Athletes
- U.S. Olympians Association
Olympic Day events transcend sport and allow local athletes to be actively involved in their community and make a difference.”I hope to return to Joplin, MO, this year to celebrate Olympic Day during happier times,” said Jason Pyrah, two-time Olympian in track and field. “Last year I was in Joplin two weeks prior to the Olympic Day event, volunteering with the tornado cleanup process. During the event, I met with the children from the Boys and Girls Club who were all affected in some way by the tornado. We talked about the challenges they faced and it was fun to bring some much-needed excitement and a brighter outlook through the spirit of the Olympic Movement. It’s amazing how the Olympic Spirit can transcend sport and inspire people in their everyday lives. That’s why I continue to participate in Olympic Day events in my communities every year,” said Pyrah.
To assist Olympic Day event hosts, the U.S. Olympic Committee offers planning toolkits, supplemental materials and help potentially securing an athlete for the event. For more information on Olympic Day, go to www.teamusa.org/OlympicDay, call the Olympic Day hotline at 715-866-4535, or email OlympicDay@usoc.org.